McLaren pleased to recover Turkish GP weekend with double points

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McLaren were delighted to recover from a bad qualifying and keep their challenge for P3 alive in the Constructors' Championship at the Turkish Grand Prix.

Penalties for both drivers meant Carlos Sainz started 15th and Lando Norris 14th at Istanbul Park, but a strong start for the Spaniard put him into the top 10 by the end of the opening lap.

After that, it was a more gradual climb up the order to Sainz's eventual finishing position fifth, just 2.3s behind second-placed Sergio Perez over the finish line.

“A very, very good day for us after a disappointing Saturday,” he told the McLaren website post-race.

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“We managed to put together a very strong race under super tricky conditions. I had a very good start, picking up six places, switching on the tyres and keeping a solid pace with both compounds.

“From there, I managed to pull off some good overtakes to finish P5. I definitely rate this race as one of the hardest I’ve done in F1 so far and I’m very happy to have recovered 10 positions in these conditions.

“I’m also happy for the entire team because it looks like we saved a tough weekend with both cars again in the points.”

By contrast, teammate Norris' journey to the points took a little while to get going, but when it did, the Briton was among the quickest cars on track as he made his way upto P8, including the extra point for fastest lap.

"Especially the second half of the race was a lot of fun, it was just very difficult to overtake,” the now 21-year-old said.

“Normally in the wet, you can do all different lines but everyone was doing the same line because that’s where the grip was, so it proved very difficult in the first half of the race to do anything different to people with strategy and overtaking.

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“So it didn’t start well, and wasn’t looking too hopeful, but as soon as I had clear air the car came alive and we had really good pace.

“Managed to get into P8 which I definitely wasn’t thinking of after my terrible start, a good recovery I think, and we did everything we could from where we were position-wise on Lap 1.

“Good points for the team and I think that’s the main thing.”

On a weekend when grip had been hard to find in Istanbul, Norris explained how heavily-worn intermediate tyres actually became the best compound he'd used.

“We did an overcut on some people, I got two or three overtakes on an overcut and then just managed the tyres really well," he said.

“I had a long stint to do on the inters at the end, but I managed them really well, a bit better than what Daniel [Ricciardo] and Lance [Stroll] did so that’s why I had better pace.

“The inters wore out that much that they turned into a slick tyre, a very soft slick tyre, so the car was feeling the best it did all weekend, it gave me a lot of confidence.”

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The 15 points McLaren got helped limit the loss to Racing Point, who had been on course for a 1-2 finish early on.

Instead, with Perez second and Stroll ninth, the team only scored five points more, and that is the margin they have with just three races in the Middle East to go.